Spatial Assessment of Walkability Index - A Case Study in Chicago

2019-02-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Ahmad Jalal Nafakh
There is evidence that the current epidemic of obesity and overweight is contributed to by urban environments that discourage walking and other physical activities. Many research has been conducted creating various indices that aim at describing “walkability” in combining built environment characteristics the contributes to promoting or inhibiting the physical activity of walking. In this research, the assessment of built environment characteristics, public transit serviceability and safety aspects were studied and prioritized for The City of Chicago on a Census Tract geographic level. First, population and built environment characteristics have been analyzed leading to the generation of four (4) indices. Second, public transit characteristics regarding serviceability have been studied yielding two (2) indices. Third, safety aspects that may impact one’s decision on whether to select walking as mode of transport have been considered resulting in two (2) indices. Fourth, The Pedestrian Walkability Index is created and defined as the product of eight (8) components representing population density, land-use diversity (using concept of entropy), commercial density, network connectivity, public transit serviceability – two (2) indices – and crime-rate density – two (2) indices. The index was used to model walkability on the Census Tract geographic level for the City of Chicago. The model then, was validated using Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) dataset.